24
Apr
2013
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When Should I Use Wet or Dry Floral Foam?

In the previous article we learnt how wet floral foam can be used for fresh flower arrangements and included a step-by-step guide on how to soak the foam correctly. You can also watch our video on how to soak floral foam. This article will help you determine which floral foam to use in your arrangement. Essentially, it will depend on the type of flowers used; fresh, artificial or dried flowers.

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Origins of Floral Foam

In 1954 a gentleman named V.L. Smithers pioneered the water-absorbing foam for florists and changed the floral industry. His company Oasis® Floral Products remains the leading global manufacturer and supplier of floral foam today. Floral foam, whether wet or dry allows the floral designer to create beautiful arrangements that will hold and stay fresh and vibrant with it’s steady supply of water. Wet floral foam needs to be saturated in water prior to use where as dry floral foam can be used without water.

Using Wet Floral Foam for Fresh Floral Arrangements

Wet floral foam is designed to hold water for lengthy periods of time which makes it the ideal floral foam choice when working with fresh flowers. Start with either a pre-made shape or one you’ve cut yourself. After fully saturating the floral foam in water, (see the guide on how to soak floral foam) it can be placed in any type of waterproof container to your liking or used just the way it is after which you can start adorning it with fresh flowers. The fresh flowers will remain hydrated between seven to 10 days. Continue to add water to the container once daily so that the foam is kept wet.

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Using Dry Floral Styrofoam for Silk Floral Arrangements

Dry floral foam bricks (also known as floral styrofoam) are easy to cut and work with in the same way as wet floral foam except you do not need to soak them in water. They are mainly used for artificial flower arrangements.

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The dense and compact nature of the dry floral foam can also accommodate artificial flowers that have a stem that has been fitted with a sharp metal spike or florist wire and then dipped in hot glue before being pierced into position. The added weight of dry floral foam also ensures that the floral arrangement will hold it’s shape. There are many shapes and sizes to choose from and they usually come in either green or white.

Remember, you can also use floral styrofoam wreaths and shapes for dried flowers and artificial flower arrangements as an alternative to dry floral foam bricks.

Floral styrofoam’s robust design makes it the best fit for silk, dried and fake flower arrangements as the foam is denser and heavier and more unlikely to crumble. Typically, floral foam is found in a variety of shapes such as wreaths and crosses or spheres and cones. They are also used extensively in craft projects.

Using the right floral foam for different arrangements will ensure flowers will be kept secure and remain beautiful for as long as possible.


General tips for handling floral foam:
– Store in dry and cool place, avoid direct sunlight.
– Clean hands after handling foam.
– Do not inhale dust.
– Do not swallow foam.
– Store in low area to avoid eye contact.


For more information on how to use floral foam and answers to commonly asked questions, please read our other Blog article: The Benefits of Floral Foam.

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Floral Foam: The foundation of a great flower arrangement
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18 Responses

  1. Aimy

    Hi friend

    It’s good article to be read with,..I have a doubt,..how to convert rectangle shape foam into circle foam,..plz give me suggestion ,..if I can do it at home

    1. Koch

      Hi Aimy,

      Thank you for your nice comment. If creating a cylinder or cake shape you can definitely do this at home, and in that particular case, you would need to use a florist bud knife or long blade floral foam knife and your container. Place your vase or container upside down onto the foam to create an indent in the top of the brick then you can use that as a guide to cut off the excess foam. Another option is to use a piece of cardboard that is cut to the correct size, place it over the foam and again cut off the excess.

      If you want to create a sphere rather than a cylinder, cutting this at home will never achieve a perfect shape. To make things easier for yourself, we recommend using premade floral foam spheres. You can find them online here : https://www.koch.com.au/foam-spheres-cones-cylinders.
      Hope this helps.

  2. Chloe

    Hi im making my own floral tribute for my daughters nans funeral .how long does the wet oassis need to soak for before adding flowers to it ? With thanks

    1. Koch

      Hi Chloe,

      Thank you for reaching out and soaking time for wet floral foam is around 60 seconds. Here is the process:

      Make sure you choose a soaking container that’s big enough to accommodate the entire piece of foam you’re working with and gently place the floral foam on top of the water (it will float at first and then sink into the water).
      Just wait until the entire brick has soaked, as any air pockets left in the brick will reduce the water for your flowers, and therefore, reduce their life. When your foam has completely submerged on its own, it will darken in colour and is ready to use.

      If you are interested in reading more on Floral Foam, we have published another Blog article and FAQ.
      Hope this helps!

    1. Koch

      Hi Josephine, thank you for your question and the interest in our blog article!

      In your particular case, we would tend to use wet floral foam so your fresh flowers and greenery extend their life among your artificial flowers.

      Wet foam absorbs water. Dry foam does not absorb water.
      If you are making a floral arrangement that uses fresh plant or floral material such as flowers you would use wet foam so they can absorb water and extend their life.
      If you are making a floral arrangement that was using artificial flowers that do not need to absorb water, you would use dry floral foam.

      We hope this helps and please let us know if we can help any further.

  3. Wendy

    Hi I’m making my own silk arrangements to put them on the centerpiece for my daughters wedding, I’ve seen people use a regular plates to put them on, I like mine to look professional and I don’t like the plate idea, can you please help? The centerpieces are crystal and oval shape where the plate would sit. Thank you

    1. Koch

      Hi Wafaa,
      Thank you for reaching out to us. We understand you are after an alternative to classic candle plates & mirrors for your centerpieces and this is a little challenging! The only thing you could replace the plates with that is flat would be a table cloth in a contrasting colour.
      We hope this helps and please don t hesitate to share the pictures of your daughter’s wedding centerpieces with us!

    1. Koch

      Hi Claire, thank you for your question.
      Wet floral foam is able to hold large heavy flowers like king proteas. When used in arrangements, king proteas are usually cut low and placed as a focal front flower – it can go up to medium height, and the floral foam will support. We also recommend using a guard as well to add extra support for the thicker stemmed flowers.
      You will need to pay extra attention if you transport the arrangement by car though as it’s often the bumps while transporting that cause the arrangement to come loose!
      We hope this helps and please don’t hesitate to share the pictures of your arrangement with us!

  4. Emily

    Hello, can you please help me.I want to have a cascading floral arrangement down a staircase on balstauds, how am I able to do this?Im using artificial flowers.

    1. Koch

      Hi Emily, thank you for your question.
      If the design of your cascading flower arrangement is of a soft flowing garden style, our rose garlands can be used as a base and built on. You can also use any plain green garlands and this style requires a wire work.
      If it’s a more elaborate design with lots of flower work, you would need to use dry foam bricks to secure the flowers.
      All the best with putting together the arrangement and don’t hesitate to share some pictures of your final work with us!

  5. Anna

    Hi,
    Do you have any recommendations on floral foams for preserve roses? Or whichever insert in the boxes you suggest to hold the preserve roses?

    1. Koch

      Hi Anna, it is our understanding that preserved roses no longer require fresh water. This being the case, the dry floral foam would be a reasonable choice for supporting a floral arrangement using preserved roses.

  6. Sarah Keathley

    Hi,

    If I am hanging floral foam in cages with fresh flowers from an arch, how far in advance can I make the arrangement and how long will it stay hydrated?

    Thanks!

    1. Koch

      Hi Sarah,
      Thank you for your question, let me see if I can help you out.
      A number of factors need to be taken into account depending on how you are going to make your arrangements in the floral cages and how you will be attaching and hanging them.
      Having said this, you will have to soak the wet floral foam cages before you use them.
      The foam will best hold water and hydrate fresh flowers for about 1 to 2 days depending on the environment they are in.
      It is very hard to keep the foam hydrated once hanging from an arch.
      I hope this response helps.

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